Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.

I wish I could take credit for the title of this post but the words belong to John Maxwell, author and leadership guru.

We all know change is constant.  It’s not a matter of wondering if things will change as much as when. Nothing in life stands still.

If you hate change you might describe it as an assault.  If you love it, you might see it as unexpected opportunity.  Both viewpoints share one common truth: change, in and of itself, is not sufficient to produce growth. Here are, according to me, the required ingredients to turn turmoil into opportunity.

Be open.

I could serve up dozens of famous quotes to support this one. Here are two favourites.  “Resistance is futile.” – courtesy of the Borg.  A former colleague and awesome coach, Bev M. T. used to say in our management coaching sessions: “What you resist persists.” It’s no good fighting change. The more open you are, the more information you will have at your disposal when it comes time to make decisions.

Be curious.

You don’t have to be in love with what’s happening to come up with great questions. If emotions are getting in the way you might try to view the situation as a journalist. What would he or she need to know in order to formulate an interesting and fact-filled story?

Be honest.

Being open and curious during times of change doesn’t mean you can’t say you hate what’s happening.  When things suck, it’s ok to say so. The important thing is to understand what you are feeling and why.